The Norwegian Economy
Norway, on the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, is a country with five million people and a vigorous economy. With its wealth of natural resources and the hard-working spirit of its people, Norway has grown into a powerhouse of the European continent. Norway has a mixed economy. A strong capitalist market but with significant government interests makes Norway and interesting study in the economic possibilities of a nation with rich resources and energetic spirit.
Roots of the Norwegian Economy
The Norwegian economy was once based on farming, fishing, hunting and timber. Trade became an ever more important facet to the country’s economy and by the countries independence from Denmark in 1814, it became more dependent on the economies of Europe. After World War II, Norway’s alliance with the United Kingdom and the United States helped it to rebuild its economy, providing additional markets for goods. From 1950 to 1973, trade helped the country to boom. When oilfields were discovered off the coast in 1969, a new era of Norwegian economic growth began, providing its citizens with numerous jobs and a variety of social programs.
Over recent years, Norway has become an economic power in Europe, with oil reserves that make it the seventh largest oil producer in the world. Its proximity to the manufacturing base in the rest of Europe provides many opportunities to expand their export-based interests. The high standard of living provides a base for retail and other industries. The nation’s leaders work hard to ensure that private interests of business also benefit the lives of workers and others in the society. In 2013, the country has been beset by a fiscal slide, like many other countries in Europe. Though Norway was envied for its 3.4 percent growth rate last year, in 2013, the unemployment rate it at 8 percent and bankruptcies are up considerably over previous years.
Prospects for the Future
The country is still expected to have a 2.5 percent growth rate with even further growth in 2014. The nation’s leaders expect the slowdown but seem confident in Norway’s ability to withstand the financial storm. With an 11 percent GDP and the highest oil taxes in the world, Norway is expected to maintain a stable economy throughout the end of the decade.
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